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Flyers for Life

Kayla Mueller ’15

Kayla Mueller ’15 has learned that in the advertising industry — especially digital — platforms and offerings are constantly evolving. To succeed, you must have a sincere curiosity and a desire to want to learn new things constantly. That’s something she appreciated about attending UD.

“UD taught me that to authentically learn, you must be filled with curiosity,” said Mueller. “It’s this spirit that pushes me to grow every day both personally and professionally. This spirit of curiosity encouraged me to seek out my master’s degree in digital audience strategy at Arizona State University to further grow as a digital advertising professional.”

She enhances this professional knowledge by learning from others the lessons they have to offer and she pushes positivity back into the world as much as she can, all while setting an example for others through her actions.

“I’ve always been passionate about networking and have decided to use my skills to help others, especially Flyers,” she said. “I listen to their stories and try my best to offer honest advice and bring positivity towards professional experiences, even beyond the job search. I specifically recall intentionally networking throughout my time at UD and how many Flyers were willing to hop on a call with me or meet up with me for coffee so I could pick their brain.”

She feels a lot of gratitude for her network with other Flyers and tries to always pay forward the actions of others who helped her when she was graduating.

One of Mueller’s favorite quotes is, “Preach the Gospel at all times, and if necessary, use words,” which is often attributed to St. Francis of Assisi.

“I believe God calls us to serve others, and it’s hard for me to reflect upon the service component of our Marianist values without considering the role of faith and service,” she said.

While at UD, Mueller experienced several transformative experiences, including the Real Dayton Retreat, a mission trip to New Orleans with other Flyers, Lighthouse and more. She especially loved the Metanoia retreat because she had the opportunity to serve as a retreat leader.

“Reflecting on my life now, I not only seek out spiritual experiences, but I need them to maintain a relationship with God. I’ve volunteered at high school Kairos retreats as an adult and  have become involved in leading my parish Alpha retreat, where we host weekly conversations on faith.”

She is also involved with The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd experience at her church, spending time exploring faith with others, especially younger members. She also serves her parish by volunteering her professional advertising skills to help engage the community and is involved in the evangelization and parish growth committee. For Mueller, service is an important core value that comes very naturally and knows it is the same for other Flyers.

“I try to live our values years beyond graduation and to be recognized for not only my love for this University but for my actions that represent what it really means to be a Flyer,” she said.

Mueller stays active in her local alumni community, attending recruitment and welcome events for new students.

“It’s humbling to represent UD and help students discern if UD is a good fit for them,” she said. “I find myself a bit emotional watching the videos of students on campus, and I’m almost filled with jealousy of those new students. However, there isn’t a thing I would change about my experience, so I am filled with gratitude for that.”

At UD she was a president’s emissary, and the team occasionally had the opportunity to attend games with then-President Daniel J. Curran.

“My friend Nate Lundy ’15 and I showed up to an away game all painted up in body paint from head to toe with Flyer flags as capes. Dr. Dan said he wasn’t all that surprised that we pulled this off, but I’ll never forget the look on his face when we met him at the arena. I’ve always been proud to be a Flyer, but it was moments like that I will always remember.”

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John Buerschen ’15

John Buerschen ’15 believes that to lead is to serve others, and serving others requires a process of lifelong learning to accomplish missions and solve problems.

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Gerald Kierce ’13

“While certainly distinct from each other, the continuum that is “Learn. Lead. Serve.” has been central to everything I’ve done in my personal and professional career,” said Gerald Kierce ’13. “On the professional side, I have had the distinct pleasure of working at some great organizations, particularly my current employer, FiscalNote.”
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